The naked truth

York Press: The naked truth The naked truth

MICHAEL DEACON (Letters, June 24) knows nothing about the “personalities” the participants in the Naked Bike Ride and is not qualified to dismiss us as “distasteful and smug”.

He says he “tried not see us” – yet failed? That’s excellent news, Mr Deacon! If we had cycled past clothed you wouldn’t have seen us. That’s exactly the reason we ride naked, because the most common and lamentable excuse given to police after a driver has crushed the bones, blood and life out of a cyclist is: “I didn’t see them.”

Mr Deacon must have excellent eyesight too, as we barely (no pun intended) saw the school sports day in the far corner of a field some 200 metres away as we cycled past. Someone that observant surely can’t have missed the unbiased reports on the York ride published in The Press since 2006?

When spotted, we had just come from pausing at Knavesmire to remember Ruby Milnes, the young cyclist killed there by a lorry in 2008.

Cyclist deaths are the real obscenity, as is the pathetic value the courts place on a human life and the paltry sentences given to killers of cyclists on Britain’s roads.

Barry Freeman, Shaftesbury, Dorset.

Comments (10)

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12:52pm Sat 28 Jun 14

inthesticks says...

Deluded.
Deluded. inthesticks
  • Score: 8

2:03pm Sat 28 Jun 14

YOUWILLDOASISAY says...

Barry Freeman, Shaftesbury, Dorset.
the most common and lamentable excuse given to police after a driver has crushed the bones, blood and life out of a cyclist is: “I didn’t see them.”

In collisions involving a bicycle and another vehicle, ‘failed to look properly’ was reported to be a key contributory factor for drivers and riders at junctions (reported in almost 60% of serious collisions at junctions). ‘Failed to look properly’ was attributed to the car drivers in 57% of serious collisions.
Available sources fail to show whether drivers are looking but failing to see the cyclist or failing to look for them.

Equally, the strategies adopted by cyclists at junctions are also not well understood: ‘cyclist failed to look properly’ was attributed to the cyclist in 43% of all serious collisions.

An almost equally common and lamentable excuse given to police by cyclists.

Link: (Page 3)
http://webarchive.na
tionalarchives.gov.u
k/20090417002224/htt
p:/www.dft.gov.uk/pg
r/roadsafety/researc
h/rsrr/theme1/ppr445
.pdf

As a cyclist myself I think it's important to recognise all of the facts, not just selective ones that superficially apportion blame. Many people already wear high-vis (as do I) which increases the chances of being seen and maybe it should be compulsory when cycling. Personally I'm not offended by people drawing attention to an issue by cycling naked although I personally put my faith in high-vis as a more practical visual enhancement.

Having made themselves more visible to drivers I guess the question is what is it that cyclists can do to reduce the number of incidents they report as ‘cyclist failed to look properly’ ? after all it's almost half the problem.
Barry Freeman, Shaftesbury, Dorset. the most common and lamentable excuse given to police after a driver has crushed the bones, blood and life out of a cyclist is: “I didn’t see them.” In collisions involving a bicycle and another vehicle, ‘failed to look properly’ was reported to be a key contributory factor for drivers and riders at junctions (reported in almost 60% of serious collisions at junctions). ‘Failed to look properly’ was attributed to the car drivers in 57% of serious collisions. Available sources fail to show whether drivers are looking but failing to see the cyclist or failing to look for them. Equally, the strategies adopted by cyclists at junctions are also not well understood: ‘cyclist failed to look properly’ was attributed to the cyclist in 43% of all serious collisions. An almost equally common and lamentable excuse given to police by cyclists. Link: (Page 3) http://webarchive.na tionalarchives.gov.u k/20090417002224/htt p:/www.dft.gov.uk/pg r/roadsafety/researc h/rsrr/theme1/ppr445 .pdf As a cyclist myself I think it's important to recognise all of the facts, not just selective ones that superficially apportion blame. Many people already wear high-vis (as do I) which increases the chances of being seen and maybe it should be compulsory when cycling. Personally I'm not offended by people drawing attention to an issue by cycling naked although I personally put my faith in high-vis as a more practical visual enhancement. Having made themselves more visible to drivers I guess the question is what is it that cyclists can do to reduce the number of incidents they report as ‘cyclist failed to look properly’ ? after all it's almost half the problem. YOUWILLDOASISAY
  • Score: 8

2:58pm Sat 28 Jun 14

Maquis says...

If it is so common for driver not to see cyclists, then perhaps it would be a good idea to firstly make yourselves more visible. This is rarely the case for people in hi vis gear.
Secondly, adopt the mindset that I have always had where I expect others to do something stupid. That way I am prepared if they do it.
Thirdly, take responsibility for your own life. Im sure that when you get knocked off and have you skull crushed while riding along in dark clothes with no lights as you ride traffic at night, you can take comfort in the fact that 57% of the time it is the drivers at fault for not seeing you.

As a cyclist, you are far more vulnerable than a driver. Act like it. Dont expect the whole world to change for you so that you dont need to take any responsibility.
More cycle lanes and punishing drivers does not result in safer cycling, better education on both sides (along with more hi vis gear) will.
If it is so common for driver not to see cyclists, then perhaps it would be a good idea to firstly make yourselves more visible. This is rarely the case for people in hi vis gear. Secondly, adopt the mindset that I have always had where I expect others to do something stupid. That way I am prepared if they do it. Thirdly, take responsibility for your own life. Im sure that when you get knocked off and have you skull crushed while riding along in dark clothes with no lights as you ride traffic at night, you can take comfort in the fact that 57% of the time it is the drivers at fault for not seeing you. As a cyclist, you are far more vulnerable than a driver. Act like it. Dont expect the whole world to change for you so that you dont need to take any responsibility. More cycle lanes and punishing drivers does not result in safer cycling, better education on both sides (along with more hi vis gear) will. Maquis
  • Score: 11

3:19pm Sat 28 Jun 14

keepitshut says...

YOUWILLDOASISAY wrote:
Barry Freeman, Shaftesbury, Dorset.
the most common and lamentable excuse given to police after a driver has crushed the bones, blood and life out of a cyclist is: “I didn’t see them.”

In collisions involving a bicycle and another vehicle, ‘failed to look properly’ was reported to be a key contributory factor for drivers and riders at junctions (reported in almost 60% of serious collisions at junctions). ‘Failed to look properly’ was attributed to the car drivers in 57% of serious collisions.
Available sources fail to show whether drivers are looking but failing to see the cyclist or failing to look for them.

Equally, the strategies adopted by cyclists at junctions are also not well understood: ‘cyclist failed to look properly’ was attributed to the cyclist in 43% of all serious collisions.

An almost equally common and lamentable excuse given to police by cyclists.

Link: (Page 3)
http://webarchive.na

tionalarchives.gov.u

k/20090417002224/htt

p:/www.dft.gov.uk/pg

r/roadsafety/researc

h/rsrr/theme1/ppr445

.pdf

As a cyclist myself I think it's important to recognise all of the facts, not just selective ones that superficially apportion blame. Many people already wear high-vis (as do I) which increases the chances of being seen and maybe it should be compulsory when cycling. Personally I'm not offended by people drawing attention to an issue by cycling naked although I personally put my faith in high-vis as a more practical visual enhancement.

Having made themselves more visible to drivers I guess the question is what is it that cyclists can do to reduce the number of incidents they report as ‘cyclist failed to look properly’ ? after all it's almost half the problem.
Excellent reply, couldn't agree more!
[quote][p][bold]YOUWILLDOASISAY[/bold] wrote: Barry Freeman, Shaftesbury, Dorset. the most common and lamentable excuse given to police after a driver has crushed the bones, blood and life out of a cyclist is: “I didn’t see them.” In collisions involving a bicycle and another vehicle, ‘failed to look properly’ was reported to be a key contributory factor for drivers and riders at junctions (reported in almost 60% of serious collisions at junctions). ‘Failed to look properly’ was attributed to the car drivers in 57% of serious collisions. Available sources fail to show whether drivers are looking but failing to see the cyclist or failing to look for them. Equally, the strategies adopted by cyclists at junctions are also not well understood: ‘cyclist failed to look properly’ was attributed to the cyclist in 43% of all serious collisions. An almost equally common and lamentable excuse given to police by cyclists. Link: (Page 3) http://webarchive.na tionalarchives.gov.u k/20090417002224/htt p:/www.dft.gov.uk/pg r/roadsafety/researc h/rsrr/theme1/ppr445 .pdf As a cyclist myself I think it's important to recognise all of the facts, not just selective ones that superficially apportion blame. Many people already wear high-vis (as do I) which increases the chances of being seen and maybe it should be compulsory when cycling. Personally I'm not offended by people drawing attention to an issue by cycling naked although I personally put my faith in high-vis as a more practical visual enhancement. Having made themselves more visible to drivers I guess the question is what is it that cyclists can do to reduce the number of incidents they report as ‘cyclist failed to look properly’ ? after all it's almost half the problem.[/p][/quote]Excellent reply, couldn't agree more! keepitshut
  • Score: 6

4:23pm Sat 28 Jun 14

CHISSY1 says...

Why do people want to ride bikes naked and lets face it some people are gross with clothes on.
Why do people want to ride bikes naked and lets face it some people are gross with clothes on. CHISSY1
  • Score: 7

5:23pm Sat 28 Jun 14

ColdAsChristmas says...

'Barry Freeman, Shaftesbury, Dorset.'

How long did it take you to cycle to York Barry? And then there is the long ride back to the South coast..
I don't know about where you live but here, cycling in the dark with no light showing is a real problem and I'm not surprised these people are not seen.
On the other hand, there are lots of cyclists that take their riding seriously, they wear protective clothing, some use more than adequate lighting and abide by the highway code.
Promoting cycle proficiency has to be the way forward, riding about naked is just making a public nuisance of yourselves and you are not likely to be taken seriously. If you were taken seriously then why are there still so many cyclists involved in accidents after all these naked protests?
Lets face it, anyone can buy a cycle, have no training or insurance and go straight onto the road. You can't say that for the user of a motor vehicle driver / rider. Even a learner!
'Barry Freeman, Shaftesbury, Dorset.' How long did it take you to cycle to York Barry? And then there is the long ride back to the South coast.. I don't know about where you live but here, cycling in the dark with no light showing is a real problem and I'm not surprised these people are not seen. On the other hand, there are lots of cyclists that take their riding seriously, they wear protective clothing, some use more than adequate lighting and abide by the highway code. Promoting cycle proficiency has to be the way forward, riding about naked is just making a public nuisance of yourselves and you are not likely to be taken seriously. If you were taken seriously then why are there still so many cyclists involved in accidents after all these naked protests? Lets face it, anyone can buy a cycle, have no training or insurance and go straight onto the road. You can't say that for the user of a motor vehicle driver / rider. Even a learner! ColdAsChristmas
  • Score: 12

6:50pm Sat 28 Jun 14

Y.I.P. says...

load of weirdos biking with nought on,!!!!!!!!
load of weirdos biking with nought on,!!!!!!!! Y.I.P.
  • Score: 5

3:16am Sun 29 Jun 14

Ebor Eco-rider says...

Maquis wrote:
If it is so common for driver not to see cyclists, then perhaps it would be a good idea to firstly make yourselves more visible. This is rarely the case for people in hi vis gear.
Secondly, adopt the mindset that I have always had where I expect others to do something stupid. That way I am prepared if they do it.
Thirdly, take responsibility for your own life. Im sure that when you get knocked off and have you skull crushed while riding along in dark clothes with no lights as you ride traffic at night, you can take comfort in the fact that 57% of the time it is the drivers at fault for not seeing you.

As a cyclist, you are far more vulnerable than a driver. Act like it. Dont expect the whole world to change for you so that you dont need to take any responsibility.
More cycle lanes and punishing drivers does not result in safer cycling, better education on both sides (along with more hi vis gear) will.
Once again you're stereotyping, Maquis. Many cyclists do wear hi-viz gear, wear helmets and do all the other things drivers want them to, yet they still don't get seen in time. Yet it doesn't stop the victim-blaming. We've heard all the excuses in the book from drivers who kill or seriously injure: "the sun got in my eyes", "I wasn't expecting the cyclist to be on that part of the road", "he was in my blind spot", "I forgot my glasses". And if you've read up on hi-viz you'll realise that it's not always effective - it needs to contrast against the background - hence little use in bright sunlight. And incidentally I find dark cars more difficult to see at night than light-coloured ones.
It's not all about visual perception though. It's also about expectations. Drivers are always looking out for things that are at least the size and shape of other vehicles and quite often look straight through cyclists - simply because they don't expect them to be there. I'm awkward - if they don't make eye contact with me, I often start waving at them. Why I should have to do this though is beyond me.
The majority of cyclists fully realise how vulnerable they are (did that message of the WNBR not get through to you for some reason) and most of us fully expect drivers to do stupid things. For instance I can often tell from erratic driving styles I observe that someone is using their mobile - a long time before I see the handset glued to ear.
Speaking of education, please have a read of this article which provides further evidence of why drivers may be good at looking, but not very good at seeing: http://www.londoncyc
list.co.uk/raf-pilot
-teach-cyclists/
[quote][p][bold]Maquis[/bold] wrote: If it is so common for driver not to see cyclists, then perhaps it would be a good idea to firstly make yourselves more visible. This is rarely the case for people in hi vis gear. Secondly, adopt the mindset that I have always had where I expect others to do something stupid. That way I am prepared if they do it. Thirdly, take responsibility for your own life. Im sure that when you get knocked off and have you skull crushed while riding along in dark clothes with no lights as you ride traffic at night, you can take comfort in the fact that 57% of the time it is the drivers at fault for not seeing you. As a cyclist, you are far more vulnerable than a driver. Act like it. Dont expect the whole world to change for you so that you dont need to take any responsibility. More cycle lanes and punishing drivers does not result in safer cycling, better education on both sides (along with more hi vis gear) will.[/p][/quote]Once again you're stereotyping, Maquis. Many cyclists do wear hi-viz gear, wear helmets and do all the other things drivers want them to, yet they still don't get seen in time. Yet it doesn't stop the victim-blaming. We've heard all the excuses in the book from drivers who kill or seriously injure: "the sun got in my eyes", "I wasn't expecting the cyclist to be on that part of the road", "he was in my blind spot", "I forgot my glasses". And if you've read up on hi-viz you'll realise that it's not always effective - it needs to contrast against the background - hence little use in bright sunlight. And incidentally I find dark cars more difficult to see at night than light-coloured ones. It's not all about visual perception though. It's also about expectations. Drivers are always looking out for things that are at least the size and shape of other vehicles and quite often look straight through cyclists - simply because they don't expect them to be there. I'm awkward - if they don't make eye contact with me, I often start waving at them. Why I should have to do this though is beyond me. The majority of cyclists fully realise how vulnerable they are (did that message of the WNBR not get through to you for some reason) and most of us fully expect drivers to do stupid things. For instance I can often tell from erratic driving styles I observe that someone is using their mobile - a long time before I see the handset glued to ear. Speaking of education, please have a read of this article which provides further evidence of why drivers may be good at looking, but not very good at seeing: http://www.londoncyc list.co.uk/raf-pilot -teach-cyclists/ Ebor Eco-rider
  • Score: 7

3:43am Sun 29 Jun 14

Ebor Eco-rider says...

ColdAsChristmas wrote:
'Barry Freeman, Shaftesbury, Dorset.'

How long did it take you to cycle to York Barry? And then there is the long ride back to the South coast..
I don't know about where you live but here, cycling in the dark with no light showing is a real problem and I'm not surprised these people are not seen.
On the other hand, there are lots of cyclists that take their riding seriously, they wear protective clothing, some use more than adequate lighting and abide by the highway code.
Promoting cycle proficiency has to be the way forward, riding about naked is just making a public nuisance of yourselves and you are not likely to be taken seriously. If you were taken seriously then why are there still so many cyclists involved in accidents after all these naked protests?
Lets face it, anyone can buy a cycle, have no training or insurance and go straight onto the road. You can't say that for the user of a motor vehicle driver / rider. Even a learner!
Well ColdAs, at least we've got you engaging in debate, haven't we, which probably wouldn't have happened if we'd gone by in ordinary clothes. And don't forget the naked bike ride is only one day a year: the rest of the time most of us are just being those "cyclists that their riding seriously", the ones who often don't get seen. But maybe we could equally well do an opposite sort of protest - an "overdressed" ride in full metal body-armour to make the point that this is how drivers expect us to dress, just in case they should "accidentally" bump into us.
Oh, and for your information I was nearly run off the road by a woman learner driver who didn't check her nearside mirror or bother to indicate in time when turning across a cycle lane. It turned out that her "responsible adult" was her aging father who looked completely out of it and had been paying even less attention to the road.
[quote][p][bold]ColdAsChristmas[/bold] wrote: 'Barry Freeman, Shaftesbury, Dorset.' How long did it take you to cycle to York Barry? And then there is the long ride back to the South coast.. I don't know about where you live but here, cycling in the dark with no light showing is a real problem and I'm not surprised these people are not seen. On the other hand, there are lots of cyclists that take their riding seriously, they wear protective clothing, some use more than adequate lighting and abide by the highway code. Promoting cycle proficiency has to be the way forward, riding about naked is just making a public nuisance of yourselves and you are not likely to be taken seriously. If you were taken seriously then why are there still so many cyclists involved in accidents after all these naked protests? Lets face it, anyone can buy a cycle, have no training or insurance and go straight onto the road. You can't say that for the user of a motor vehicle driver / rider. Even a learner![/p][/quote]Well ColdAs, at least we've got you engaging in debate, haven't we, which probably wouldn't have happened if we'd gone by in ordinary clothes. And don't forget the naked bike ride is only one day a year: the rest of the time most of us are just being those "cyclists that their riding seriously", the ones who often don't get seen. But maybe we could equally well do an opposite sort of protest - an "overdressed" ride in full metal body-armour to make the point that this is how drivers expect us to dress, just in case they should "accidentally" bump into us. Oh, and for your information I was nearly run off the road by a woman learner driver who didn't check her nearside mirror or bother to indicate in time when turning across a cycle lane. It turned out that her "responsible adult" was her aging father who looked completely out of it and had been paying even less attention to the road. Ebor Eco-rider
  • Score: 5

9:39am Mon 30 Jun 14

Dr Brian says...

Y.I.P. wrote:
load of weirdos biking with nought on,!!!!!!!!
Because they are sad nobodies in life who have zero debating skills and the only way they get themselves noticed is by stripping off.
[quote][p][bold]Y.I.P.[/bold] wrote: load of weirdos biking with nought on,!!!!!!!![/p][/quote]Because they are sad nobodies in life who have zero debating skills and the only way they get themselves noticed is by stripping off. Dr Brian
  • Score: -3

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